By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
NAIA Game of the Week – No. 1
No. 8 Baker (Kan.) (0-1-1, 0-0-0 HAAC) at No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (0-0-0, 0-0-0 MSC)
Saturday, Aug. 30 | 7 p.m. CDT | Walter S. Reuling Stadium | Columbia, Ky.
Watch Live | Live Stats – Provided by Lindsey Wilson
• No. 8 Baker (Kan.) travels to third-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) for a Saturday-night showdown from Walter S. Reuling Stadium.
• The Blue Raiders hold a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series with Baker. Both previous contests have occurred on neutral soil with Lindsey Wilson taking 2-0 decisions. The last meeting was Dec. 2, 2011 when Lindsey Wilson won 2-0 in the national semifinals from Orange Beach, Ala.
• The first meeting occurred Oct. 22, 1999 that resulted in a 2-0 Blue Raider win.
• Baker is seeking its first win of the year after a 1-1 tie against Missouri Baptist Aug. 22 and a 3-0 loss to No. 4 Ashford (Iowa) the following day. Both contests were part of a tournament hosted by Baker.
• Lindsey Wilson was scheduled to open its campaign Aug. 23 hosting Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio), but that match was cancelled. Saturday’s match marks the first contest of the 2014 season.
• In home contests last season, Lindsey Wilson went 8-2-1. To break that down further, the Blue Raiders went 7-0-0 at home when scoring two-or-more goals. Baker recorded a 9-3-0 mark (.750) on the road, which was a better win percentage than at home, 6-3-2 (.636).
• Last season, the Blue Raiders advanced to their third-straight national championship semifinal before bowing out to Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) in overtime. That event was a culmination of a 17-4-2 overall record and a Mid-South Conference regular-season championship.
• Senior goalkeeper and three-time All-Mid-South Conference (MSC) First Team selection Yuta Nomura returns for the backbone of a nationally-ranked Lindsey Wilson defense. Last year, Nomura posted 38 saves, five shutouts and an 11-4-0 mark between the pipes. He was an integral reason for the defense to hold opponents to one goal or fewer in 18-of-23 matches last year.
• On the offensive side for the Blue Raiders, senior forward Yazeed Davids is back after leading the team in both assists (9) and points (27) and finishing third in goals (9).
• Head coach Ray Wells is beginning his 27th season with a 474-85-27 mark. His victory total is second on both the NAIA all-time and active lists. He trails coach Steve Burke of Judson (Ill.), who has 519 wins entering the 2014 season.
• The No. 3 ranking in the preseason marked the 84th-straight Top 25 mention for Lindsey Wilson, which is the longest active streak in NAIA men’s soccer. The Blue Raiders also own the all-time mark with 47 all-time No. 1 rankings.
• Under the leadership of coach Nate Houser, Baker will have to fill the void of two NSCAA NAIA All-Americans and will rely on youth to improve upon a 15-6-2 overall record. Senior forward Preston Phillips is a leading candidate to help the cause after earning Honorable Mention All-Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) honors.
• After winning both the HAAC regular-season and tournament championships last year, the Wildcats lost to Ashford, 3-2, in two overtimes in the 2013 NAIA National Championship Second Round.
• Coach Houser enters his seventh year with a 78-29-14 career record of the Baker men’s program.
• With the No. 8 ranking in the preseason, Baker has now been nationally recognized for 11-straight weeks, including six-consecutive top-10 mentions.
Additional Notes from Around NAIA Men’s Soccer
(Through games played on Aug. 27, 2014)
• Defending national champion Martin Methodist (Tenn.) enters 2014 with the longest unbeaten active streak in the NAIA with a 13-gamer (12-0-1). The RedHawks open up the season at home against Talladega (Ala.) on Saturday.
• There are 10 programs with two-or-more wins and zero losses, led by the 3-0 mark by Johnson & Wales (Fla.).
• Soka (Calif.) and Arizona Christian were the first recorded NAIA teams to face each other in 2014. The Lions posted a 2-1 win over Arizona Christian on Aug. 16 in Phoenix. Michigan-Dearborn also competed on Aug. 16, but faced USCAA member Cleary (Mich.) and fell 5-1.
• Fresh off their first-ever NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship, the RedHawks of Martin Methodist (Tenn.) claimed the No. 1 ranking in the 2014 Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 poll, the national office announced Aug. 21. The RedHawks gathered 19 of a possible 21 first-place votes to tally 589 total points. It was the second all-time No. 1 spot in school history for Martin Methodist and the second-straight top ranking. For the complete preseason Top 25 release, click here.
• Overall, the Southern States Athletic Conference has been the power conference in NAIA men’s soccer with 47-straight polls in which the league has tied or placed the most teams in the Top 25 poll (3-5 teams) – the last time the conference did not tie or have the highest amount of schools was Sept. 28, 2010.
• Other Top 25 matchups this week:
o Wednesday – No. 12 Grand View (Iowa) def. No. 19 Midland (Neb.), 3-0
o Friday – No. 18 Thomas (Ga.) @ No. 14 William Carey (Miss.)
o Saturday – No. 19 Midland (Neb.) @ No. 4 Ashford (Iowa)
o Saturday – No. 12 Grand View (Iowa) @ No. 15 Missouri Valley
o Saturday – No. 25 Belhaven (Miss.) vs No. 21 Davenport (Mich.)
o Sunday – No. 22 Bethel (Tenn.) vs No. 8 Baker (Kan.)
o Sunday – No. 6 Hastings (Neb.) vs No. 23 Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
• Coach Scott Morrissey of Rio Grande (Ohio) and Brian Harvey of Oklahoma City both have an outside shot of cracking 400 career wins – Morrissey stands with 388 and Harvey has 382. Both individuals are Nos. 3 and 4 on the NAIA active wins chart.
• Coach Tom Maxon of Morningside (Iowa) has a chance this year to join the 200-win club – he stands 191-177-20 in his 20th year. The team’s first game is scheduled for Friday at Jamestown (N.D.).
• The NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championships for the next two years will take place at a new site – Hilltopper Stadium in Delray Beach, Fla. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission in conjunction with Northwood University (Fla.) will serve as the host entities. For more information, click here.
• For a complete list of the NAIA men’s soccer statistical leaders, click here.
Tourbeau Sports Group/NSCAATV.com Game of the Week
• The 2014 season marks the second year that the National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America (NSCAA) created a partnership with Tourbeau Sports Group (TSG) to produce a live, weekly broadcast of a Men's Soccer Game of the Week. This game features the best in NAIA Men's Soccer and matches around the Top 25. The schedule can be viewed HERE.
• The first Tourbeau Sports Group/NSCAATV.com Game of the Week in the NAIA is scheduled for a men’s/women’s doubleheader Sept. 21 between Georgia Gwinnett and Northwood (Fla.).
• The NSCAA created a digital platform this year for all soccer-playing institutions and needs your help to increase exposure of NAIA soccer. You are encouraged to submit written or video features (links or embed codes preferred) to email@example.com.